Covid-19: Booster rollout review and quarantine hotel escapee arrestson November 29, 2021 at 7:50 am

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Five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Monday morning.

Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Monday morning. We’ll have another update for you this evening.

The UK’s vaccine advisory body, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, is expected to decide whether it will recommend offering Covid booster jabs to more people. Its deputy chairman Prof Anthony Harnden says it would be a “sensible strategy” to reduce time between doses and extend boosters to people under 40, who are not currently eligible. This comes as fresh restrictions were announced to tackle the new Omicron variant, which is currently showing higher re-infection risk. Measures covering face masks, schools and travel go before Parliament later.

Doctor administering injection to young woman

Image source, Getty Images

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As the Netherlands grapples with record Covid cases and concerns over the new variant it’s emerged that police arrested a couple who escaped from a quarantine hotel. Dutch officers detained them on a plane just before take-off from Schiphol airport in Amsterdam on Sunday evening. They’ve been handed over to the country’s health service and it’s not known whether they were among the passengers who tested positive for the new coronavirus variant after arriving on two flights from South Africa last week.

Arrivals and departures board in English and Dutch at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam. Photo: November 2021

Image source, Reuters

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Travel bans imposed by the UK, EU and US after the new Covid variant, Omicron, was detected in South Africa have been condemned by the country’s president. Cyril Ramaphosa says he was “deeply disappointed” by the action after cases of the heavily mutated variant emerged. He’s described the move as unjustified, and called for bans to be urgently lifted. Omicron has been classed as a “variant of concern” with early evidence suggesting it has a higher re-infection risk.

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Anyone travelling through India’s northern states would be forgiven for thinking the pandemic is over. It is not over and cases are rising in Europe again, prompting the World Health Organization to say it is “very worried”. So will there be another wave of Covid? And if that happens, is India prepared? Find out here.

A health worker administers a dose of covid-19 vaccine to a woman in New Delhi.

Image source, Getty Images

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Cardiff rugby union team’s hopes of flying out of South Africa following travel restrictions imposed on the back of the Omicron variant have been dashed. They’d been due to take the same flight as their Welsh rivals the Scarlets but the club’s confirmed two positive Covid-19 cases in their squad. They’ll be isolating with Irish side Munster who’ve also had a positive case. Here’s the full story.

Cardiff

Image source, Cardiff Rugby

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Government statistics show 144,775 people have now died, with 51 deaths reported in the latest 24-hour period. In total, 10,146,915 people have tested positive, up 37,681 in the latest 24-hour period. Latest figures show 7,633 people in hospital. In total, 50,917,949 people have received their first vaccination

As more cases of the Omicron variant emerge, find out here whether existing Covid vaccines still work.

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